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The great british menu - food poverty... AIBU?

(994 Posts)
Bogeyface Thu 11-Jul-13 20:25:40

I hate myself for thinking this but, AIBU to think that Lady Whatsername who said in the 90's that the reason poor people couldnt manage on benefits was because they lacked the ability to cook good simple nutritious meals, may have had a point? The way she said it was totally U and she was very sneery, but I cant help thinking that there might be a grain of truth in it.

Of the three families I have just seen in this program I saw what 2 of them ate in a day. one was a mother and daughter who's only meal of the day was a microwave burger each costing £1 each, and the other was a family where the children had fish fingers or nuggets and oven chips, while the parents had tinned veg.

£14 per week that the first family spent is enough for a bag of baking potatoes, some basics pasta, baked beans, passatta, a pack of frozen sausages, a bag of porridge oats, some cheese, some sandwich meat such as Haslet from the deli counter (35p per 100g in my tesco) and milk. The DD would be getting free school meals if I heard correctly about her age and their income. Far healthier, more filling and more than one meal a day!

The second family, again, for the price of nuggets, fish fingers and oven chips they could make a spag bol using basics ingredients that would feed them all well.

RAther than focussing on the cost of food, which is only going to rise, surely it would be better to focus on educating people who eat badly because the food they choose is more expensive than cheaper, healthier alternatives that require a bit of cooking knowledge?

ICBINEG Mon 29-Jul-13 18:53:48

That is interesting to read darren, and not wholey surprising given what other Mners have had to say about similar TV efforts....

darrenmillar73 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:29:17

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darrenmillar73 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:27:53

If you want to know what really went on please read my blog thank you smile

stressedHEmum Fri 19-Jul-13 09:43:49

Ifnot, sorry to hear about your dad. it must have been really awful.

I don't think that I understand, bumbley. of course we should appreciate the NHS and be grateful that we have access to doctors, dentists, midwives, opticians etc. we should all be grateful at the progress that means that we don't all have to squeeze into a room and kitchen and that we have flushing toilets and running water. The house my mother was born in was a room and kitchen with an outside loo and no bath or anything like that. I am glad that no-one in this country lives like that any more. That doesn't mean though that we should just suck it up when we can't feed our kids or that we should just accept that as a reality of life in 21st century Britain.

There is something very wrong in country like this when working people are struggling just to manage the very basics of life and as Audrina says, Social Security is just that. Making sure that everyone has access to enough food, reasonable housing, adequate clothing and some kind of leisure helps keep society running smoothly and securely. When people can't meet their basic needs, things start to fall apart quite quickly.

Darkesteyes Thu 18-Jul-13 22:11:39

Sorry to hear about yr dad IfNot thanks
There is a programme about landlords on BBC1 at 10.35. Should be interesting.

AndHarry Thu 18-Jul-13 21:52:26

Anyone interested in Dickensian parallels should read 'Podsnappery' in 'Our Mutual Friend'. The footnote to part of it reads "The poor were to be taught that they were responsible for their own plight, no matter whether young, sick, aged or disabled." Quite.

AudrinaAdare Thu 18-Jul-13 21:12:55

It's worse than insider trading if the ministers have been voting on this issue! They'll find some way around it though. You can steal more money with lawyers than guns, as Vito Corleone said...

Great post, IfNot. Sounds chillingly familiar:

If Margaret Thatcher is re-elected as prime minister on Thursday, I warn you. I warn you that you will have pain – when healing and relief depend upon payment. I warn you that you will have ignorance – when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right. I warn you that you will have poverty – when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can't pay. I warn you that you will be cold – when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don't notice and the poor can't afford.
I warn you that you must not expect work – when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don't earn, they don't spend. When they don't spend, work dies. I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light. I warn you that you will be quiet – when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient. I warn you that you will have defence of a sort – with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding. I warn you that you will be home-bound – when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up. I warn you that you will borrow less – when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.
If Margaret Thatcher wins on Thursday, I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.

Neil Kinnock

I would add that when so many are desperate and police services are slashed, everyone will soon realise why giving the dispossessed a few quid used to be called, "Social Security".

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 18-Jul-13 20:52:50

Thanks garlic and bumbly. I am still quite shocked by it tbh.

"Ministers and other MPs have been buying shares in healthcare firms like there's no tomorrow"

Isn't that basically insider trading?

And of course the deliberate destruction of the NHS is linked to ordinary families being unable to cope financially.
There is plenty of money in this country. And yet people are struggling to pay for basic goods and utilities.
Privatisation makes dosh for the few, while driving up costs for everyone else. (Water for example)
The whole ethos of the current lot is to parcel off essential services and sell them to their mates the highest bidder, while at the same time telling us how lucky we are, and how grateful we should be to have the shite they leave us with.
Make no mistake , anyone on a low wage, anyone with disabled children or spouse, anyone with a sick elderly relative in a state hospital, anyone who is a lone parent, anyone who is made redundant with a mortgage to pay, anyone who is reliant on public transport, anyone who is unemployed and can't find a job KNOWS that things are getting desperate.
Not for the top 10%-they are reaping the benefits of cheap labour, tenants who can't afford to be picky and tax loopholes.
But the rest of us are fucked.

garlicagain Thu 18-Jul-13 20:20:32

That Mark Britnell quote came from a presentation he gave to large healthcare companies and their investors, by the way. It wasn't an off-the-cuff comment.

garlicagain Thu 18-Jul-13 20:18:32

The link is our government's collusion in a systematic leeching of OUR money, out of communal services and into private bank accounts.

Much of the money - and we're talking trillions - then finds its way out of the UK, putting nothing back. Cuts (and 'restructures' disguising cuts) to healthcare, social care, public sector employment, benefits, etc, are nothing less than the deliberate transfer of our public funds into tax havens, from where we'll never see another penny. By replacing socially-funded services with privately-owned ones, they ensure maximum flow from the social fund to private investors.

But we'll keep on paying, if they get their way, until we're all broke.

bumbleymummy Thu 18-Jul-13 20:09:20

If not, I'm sorry that you lost your dad. I have been in a hospital fairly recently and it certainly wasn't as bad as that. It's awful that its basically become a post code lottery. I am not trying to say that all hospitals are great or not there are never any problems but its better than the nothing that we used to have and that some other developed countries still have. Of course there is room for improvement and we shouldn't become complacent.

Garlic, what is the link between the NHS and trying to cook on a budget in your last post?

garlicagain Thu 18-Jul-13 20:03:44

So sorry about your Dad, IfNot. How incredibly distressing it must all have been for your family sad

garlicagain Thu 18-Jul-13 19:58:48

In 2010, while discussing the reforms to a healthcare industry conference, policy advisor Mark Britnell was quoted as stating: "In future, The NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer", and that "The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years."

Ministers and other MPs have been buying shares in healthcare firms like there's no tomorrow.

The DWP has issued targets to JobCentres and unemployment 'service providers' to sanction 90% of claimants every year by 20125.
I've lost the link, I'm afraid, but I have seen it on a DWP published document.

A report in today's Independent said the firms which 'provide' healthcare and unemployment services have been found to be ripping off the State on a massive, widespread basis. It revealed the Government keeps no centralised data on the contracts it issues shock so the inquiry had to start from scratch, as it's impossible to collate this information from central records.

All the while, we're being told it's our fault because we can't cook or are lazy and thick. And the more voters believe this, the more we permit our neighbours to suffer due to political greed.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 18-Jul-13 18:57:47

Have you been in a hospital lately bumbly??
I lost my dad in one, after he went in with a virus, and contracted pneumonia whilst in hospital. They were so short staffed he kept not getting his meds. The toilets were filthy. We could rarely find a doctor.the old people were not fed.The HDU and then ICU where he finished up were very good, but by then it was too late.
the NHS is falling apart. Seriously. If i had known how bad things were, when they told us he just needed rest and recuperation i should have taken him home (against advice)because he would still be here.
They started with the privatization of cleaning services ( hence all the super bugs you get now) and this government are hell bent on privatising the rest if it, so if you are so grateful for the NHS, my advice is to start fighting for it because its on its last legs.

bumbleymummy Thu 18-Jul-13 18:36:34

So you do think we should appreciate it then?

Darkesteyes Thu 18-Jul-13 18:27:07

Of course not thats not what i said at all. Gaslight much?

bumbleymummy Thu 18-Jul-13 17:45:50

Great, more taxes. hmm

I don't know DarkestEyes, why are you asking me? I haven't said anything about a race to the bottom.

Re the NHS, would you rather they didn't have somewhere to go if they are suffering from any illness?

Darkesteyes Thu 18-Jul-13 17:07:49

bumbley Whats with the race to the bottom. if we applied your analogy to another situation such as domestic abuse it would go something like this...
A woman being emotionally abused by her husband? Oh well just be grateful hes not physically abusing you like the bloke down the road is doing to his wife confused
And yes you are right about the NHS (which they are trying to privatise by the way) because when ppl present at A+E with malnutrition at least then they can be more grateful. hmm

Dahlen Thu 18-Jul-13 16:53:44

expat I'd completely forgotten that even those on benefits have to pay council tax now. Even less money to go around. sad

bubbley - I think the money needs to come from tax rises TBH. I dont' object to paying more. Although if the government held just one of the big giants that have avoided tax to account, the £6bn benefit cuts that have just been made could have been completely avoided.

expatinscotland Thu 18-Jul-13 16:49:45

You forgot council tax, Dahlen. Even those on benefits must now pay. Oh, and clothes. Kids have this nasty habit of growing.

Sparrowp Thu 18-Jul-13 16:16:55

Don't forget the new wheeze of just cutting off everyone's benefits through "sanctions". 2.5 million sanctions have been used since 2011.

That's 3 months with no income at all. They are really trying to kill people.

bumbleymummy Thu 18-Jul-13 16:16:35

Dahlen, so what is your solution? Where is the money going to come from?

bumbleymummy Thu 18-Jul-13 16:14:58

Why do you think I've said it's desirable?

Dahlen Thu 18-Jul-13 15:52:40

It's possible in the short term. It's not in the long term.

As soon as something happens to upset that careful utilities/busfare/food only balance, it goes wrong and people go hungry.

A pair of shoes worn through. An extra busfare. A broken down fridge. People will then access credit, which has to be paid back out of that £14.

People are going hungry.

I'm sure people will then come on and say that benefits are only supposed to be short term. And in an ideal world they would be. But it's not an ideal world. For every scrounger out there who doesn't want to work, there are many many more who do but can't get a job - too old, too inexperienced, not qualified enough, over-qualified, can't get childcare, needs time off to care for mum...

garlicagain Thu 18-Jul-13 15:49:48

It's what I have just demonstrated I do - every fortnight, all year, every year.
Why do you think it's desirable that my very rich country makes me live like this and expects me to grovel for it?

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